Premier’s letter to Justice Minister promising news for FVIC struggle
NDP Justice Critic Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) says the contents of a mandate letter from the premier to the Justice Minister are a sign of hope for a campaign she has been carrying on for almost two years.
In the 2013 budget, government abruptly eliminated the Family Violence Intervention Court, an innovative and widely-praised project which worked with families to reduce violence.
“Since that time, various members of government – including the current premier – have given me different excuses for not bringing it back,” Rogers said today. “The most recent one was that the FVIC did not have a province-wide scope.”
Rogers worked with experts to develop a proposal outlining how the Court could be reinstated and expanded, largely through the use of existing infrastructure and personnel. She gave the proposal to the former premier last summer; on October 23 she sent a copy to the Justice and Public Safety minister. She has had no substantive response from government, despite asking direct questions in the House of Assembly in November.
The “Cabinet Ministers” web page includes a photo and the portfolio(s) of each minister, along with a “mandate letter” from the premier outlining exactly what he expects each minister to prioritize and accomplish.
The Family Violence Intervention Court is highlighted as one of the key jobs for the appointed Justice Minister.
“We’ve been lobbying and lobbying for the Court to be reinstated,” Rogers said today. “I’ll take that directive as an encouraging sign and I plan to hold them to it. Government has to act to reverse its short-sighted decision.”